Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Shrinking Pie In The Sky

Kenneth M. O’Brien

It just keeps getting better!

In his interview in the Southbridge Evening News of June 24, Town Council candidate David Langevin remarked that he “… expects it to take around five years for the industrial park to start really showing development. Such a delay, however, can be a plus because it provides time for planning and getting financing in order…”

So, the prospect is that it will likely be another five years before the vaunted industrial park project might show something. What will that be, 35 years of chasing that rainbow?

Never mind that the “industrial park access road” doesn’t go to the proposed industrial park site. It only goes as far as the landfill.

In the same newspaper edition, one Councilor seeking reelection provided the following observation. “Nikolla said she’s proud of her role in … getting Commercial Drive built.”
Never mind that it’s little more than a road to the dump. Consider also that the town had to use its own bonding capacity to finance construction with the promise that it would be paid for over time by Casella. In the meantime, that element of our bonding capacity is no longer available to the town.

Then there is the fact that several years ago the chairman of the airport commission testified that the second half of the road would traverse property encompassed by the airport master plan. In order to get clearance would require approval from the Federal Aviation Administration because of restrictions imposed by various grants from that agency.

Has there been any progress in that area?

Then of course there is the question of the cost of such a road. With our bonding capacity virtually at its limit because of the aforementioned access road as well as the new school project, where will the money come from?

But the final addition of an insult to injury has come from an assessment of the proposed industrial park site by the Massachusetts Development Corporation.

According to their report, the proposed site only has adequate usable property for one 10,000 square foot building and a couple of smaller buildings. In addition, according to another councilor, which I’ll admit I have not yet been able to second source, a good chunk of that property remains in private ownership. While the town still has first right of refusal that too will require an additional expenditure.

So, in essence what we are finding is that thirty-five years of wrangling, promises, expenses and pipe dreams will ultimately provide us with little more than an industrial mini-mall, if we ever get that far!

But, hey, what the heck? Let’s just keep electing the same people who have supported whomever the current town manager is for the last ten years.


  1. Ken, I'm pretty sure I already know the answer to this question, but could you enlighten your readers and myself by disclosing who it is that owns the private property?

    Methinks that there is a reason that some councilor(s) stand to gain on this BS project.

    Also, can you do us all a favor?

    While I'm writing to the AG this weekend about our concilor, Police Chief and Fire Chiefs "actions", asking the state to finally step in and put this town in receivership, will you kindly file the FOIA requests we spoke of?

    One for my issue, one for FP's, and one to get the rave report from the Police Chief, who keeps insisting on harassing the good people of this town?

    He's now done the bidding for a former councilor, and for miss smarty pants, Clemence.

    It's about time he explains this, and Berkowitz.

    So please, make that four FOIA's, including Berkowitz, so that the people will finally see why his guys who commit a felony get a pass, while us "little people" get the shaft from him.

    Cops and kids my ass...I wouldn't let my kids grow up respecting people like Charette.

    I'll pay for all of them if you don't mind doing the legwork.

    Thanks, Ken, doing a great job!

  2. Dudes, I'd love to talk to y'all if I weren't too dumb. I didn't to to the Candidates Forum because I was at the Sturbridge Tea Party meeting. I had been hoping to talk to our legislator there about the hiccups in the municipal disaster relief effort but he was a little too preoccupied with scaring rednecks with scary stories about trannies peeing in public bathrooms.

    I can't do this shit by myself, guys. What's an airhead to do?

  3. I didn't go to the candidates forum either.

    How is our legislator doing? I haven't seen the state sales tax rollback yet, or the transgender bathrooms get banned, as Durant promised.

    As a matter of fact, has he done anything other than drive into Boston?

    Waiting to see if/when he helps the district?

    It's going to be a long one-year term before he's redistricted, and has to run against Gobi in Spencer.

  4. I think I saw Representative Durant mowing a lawn on Country Club Place.


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